Workplace Concentration

By Brett Melson Friday, April 9, 2010

Have you ever had the frustrating feeling that a small project ended up taking all day, or feel that you needed to work in the evening because that’s the only time you’re not interrupted? Perhaps that’s because modern innovations, which offices need to get business done, are also taking a toll on workplace concentration. “The average information worker - basically everyone at a desk - loses 2.1 hours of productivity every day to interruptions and distractions”, according to Basex, an IT research and information firm.

Sabotaging creativity and job satisfaction, along with increasing anxiety,are ongoing e-mail alerts, instant messages and cell phone interruptions, with typical office employees checking e-mail 50 times and using instant messaging 77 times, according to Rescue Time, a time-management software firm.

Some business leaders are tackling this growing problem with new policies on information management. They’ve found that technology can be a mixed blessing with workers feeling a compulsive need to continually check messages in order to be productive. But research shows that a distracted, multitasking employee actually makes more mistakes and becomes less productive in the long run. And, according to a Microsoft study, it takes minutes to get back to one’s concentration level after an interruption!

No e-mail Fridays, morning quiet time, and checking messages fewer times are some of the strategies that companies are using to control this epidemic of concentration interruption. So, try taming the e-mail gremlin by turning off the notification alert, check it only at certain times, and you may notice better focus to the job at hand and increased productivity!

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